Panchayat Samiti (Block)
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Panchayat Samiti is a local government body at the tahsil (taluka) level in the nation of India. It works for the villages of the tahsil that together are called a Development Block. The Panchayat Samiti is the link between the Gram Panchayat (village council) and the zila parishad (district board). There are a number of variations in the name of this institution in the various states. For example, it is known as Mandal Praja Parishad in Andhra Pradesh, Taluka Panchayat in Gujarat, and Mandal Panchayat in Karnataka.
Typically, a panchayat samiti is composed of elected members of the area, and the Block Development Officer, otherwise unrepresented members (representatives of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and women), associate members (such as a farmer of the area, a representative of the cooperative societies, and one from the agricultural marketing services sector), and the elected members of that panchayat block (tehsil) on the zila parishad (district board).
The samiti is elected for five years and is headed by a chairman and deputy chairman elected by the members of the panchayat samiti. There is also one Sarpanch Samiti for the supervision of the other grampanchayats.
- Composition of mandal parishads
A Mandal Parishad is constituted for a revenue Mandal, as such, both the Mandal Parishads and the revenue Mandals are coterminous. A mandal Parishad is composed of the following members:
Mandal Parishad Territorial constituency members. Members of the Legislative Assembly having jurisdiction over the Mandal. Members of the House of people having jurisdiction over the Mandal. Members of the council of States who are voters in the Mandal. One co-opted member, belonging to minorities. The Mandal Parishad Territorial constituency (MPTC) members are directly elected by the voters, whereas, the Mandal President is elected by the MPTC members. The members are elected for a term of five year. The elections to MPTC s is done on political party basis. The elections are conducted by the State election commission.
The Sarpanches of the Villages in the Mandal are permanent invitees to the Mandal Parishad meetings.
The most common departments found in a panchayat samiti are:
- Public works (especially water and roads)
- Social welfare
- Information Technology
- Women & Child Development
Each department in a panchayat samiti has its own officer, most often these are state government employees acting as extension officers, but occasionally in more revenue-rich panchayat samiti, these may be local employees. A government appointed block development officer (BDO) is the supervisor of the extension officers, and executive officer to the panchayat samiti and becomes, in effect, its administrative chief over all operations.
Panchayat Samiti collects all the prospective plans prepared at Gram Panchayat level and processes them for funding and implementation by evaluating them from the angles of financial constraints, social welfare and area development. It also identifies and prioritize the issues which needs to be addressed at block level.
Sources of income
- taxes levied upon land and water usage, professional taxes, liquor taxes and others
- income generating programmes
- grants-in-aid and loans from the State Government and the local zila parishad
- voluntary contributions
For many of the panchayat samiti the main source of income becomes state aid. For others, the traditional taxing function provides the bulk of revenues. Tax revenues are often shared between the gram panchayats and the panchayat samiti.
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